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Weekly links July 13th....Friday the 13th

Markus Goldstein's picture
And here are the weekly links for your Friday the thirteenth:
  • Don't be afraid, we're just hiring:   DIME is looking for a field coordinator based in Peru, and two research assistants based in Washing (position one and two).  
  • Was that a whisper I heard?  Over at the CGD Blog, Sarah Rose goes hunting for signs of the use of evidence in RFPs from a large aid agency.   
  • Just don't look under the bed:  On Goats and Soda, a nice piece on Banerjee et. al's work on using postcards to reduce leakage from a huge social program in Indonesia.   
  • And should you really be afraid because it's the thirteenth?   Livescience debunks the odds that you'll be in the car wreck (British humor strikes again) and National Geographic explains why you need to leave the house...now.  So stop your triskaidekaphobia before you hurt yourself.  .
 

Can information reduce anti-immigration biases?

Markus Goldstein's picture
Let’s start with a little quiz.   Grab a piece of paper and pencil.   What’s the share of legal immigrants in the US population? (or you can choose the Germany, UK, Italy, Sweden or France).  A legal immigrant is defined as someone living legally in the country and born abroad. 
 

Weekly links June 29: cash does more good things, interpreting IHS, technical assistance to banks increased credit, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

Skipping school and how to reduce it? The value of information and incentivizing parents vs. children

 This is a guest post jointly authored by Damien de Walque and Christine Valente.
 
If one of our children is skipping school without our approval and if we have not excused him or her before, my wife and I quickly receive a text message (see screenshot below), an email and a phone call from the school district. A serious discussion in the evening will ensue.
 

 

What should you do when your random assignment gets compromised?

David McKenzie's picture

The New York Times recently had a piece on the retraction and re-issuance of a study in Spain based on a randomized trial of the Mediterranean Diet’s effect on heart disease. The original study was meant to be an individualized random assignment of 7,447 people aged 55 to 80 to one of three different diets – a control diet (advice to just reduce fat content), or two variants of the Mediterranean Diet (in which they were given free olive oil or free nuts). The study was originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2013. The authors then appear to have been surprised to find their study on a list of suspicious trials.  There are several parts to this story I thought would be of interest for doing impact evaluations in development, which I discuss below.

Weekly links June 22: which countries are overrepresented in IEs? How many IEs have data available to replicate them? Mobile savings, and more...

David McKenzie's picture
  • In the Harvard Business Review, Blumenstock, Callen and Ghani summarize their work on using nudges to get government employees to save using mobile money in Afghanistan – “Over six months, the average employee who was enrolled to save by default accumulated an extra half-month’s salary in his or her savings account, relative to employees who had to opt in”
  • An intro to R for Stata users
  • The promise and perils of listening to parents – Sharon Wolf on ongoing efforts in Ghana to improve pre-school quality, and how trying to bring parents onboard backfired.
  • In the Journal of Development Effectiveness, Sabet and Brown track the continued growth of development impact evaluations: “Though we find early evidence of a plateau in the growth rate of development impact evaluations, the number of studies published between January 2010 and September 2015 account for almost two thirds of the total evidence base”. Lots of other interesting facts, including 45% of all impact evaluations occurred in just 10 countries, with Kenya and Uganda having the most impact evaluations per million population, and Sub-Saharan Africa the most commonly represented region – perhaps something for donors to think about...

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